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Burst water main at Mitcham causes sinkhole on Fullarton Road with several homes damaged

Monday September 13, 2021 - 13:41 AEST

A burst water main has sent a "river of water" gushing down a major Adelaide road, creating a sinkhole and causing major traffic delays.

Fullarton Road at Mitcham, in Adelaide's south, has been closed in both directions while crews work to repair the burst pipe and the road.

A number of homes have also been damaged and SA Water said 13 customers were currently without mains water until late afternoon.

The burst main was on the corner of Carrick Hill Drive and Fullarton Road, causing trouble for families dropping their children off at Catholic school Mercedes College.

Metropolitan Fire Service incident controller Duncan Dwyer said crews worked in the early hours of the morning to protect homes using sandbags.

He said crews were concerned about the structural integrity of a wall at the intersection.

"We've dealt with burst water mains before ? more often than not the energy will be sent straight up into the air, but this one burst underneath [the road]," he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

"What it's done is it's pushed the road up in quite a number of locations in the surrounding 25, 30 or 40 odd metres.

"We had multiple crews here from metro fire service digging people's front gardens up and sandbagging to try and direct water back into the streets and away from houses as it's made its way through the suburbs.

"It was certainly on the higher side of the gravity of the situation."

Properties flooded by water

Resident Michael lives just 20 metres from the burst main and was woken by fire crews about 3:30am.

"I came out to open up the front door and found a river going down my driveway," he said.

"The water that was flowing ? in the dark it looked quite spectacular ? but now that it's daylight you can see what a mess it actually has made, and there was a lot of water going down there.

"The water that was flowing ... a good 2 or 3 metres wide and I was watching one of the firies trying to get over and the water nearly washed his feet away it was flowing that fast."

Michael said his house escaped damage, but his shed had "a good couple of inches" of water in it.

Resident Siri Hattotuwa said his cellar filled with water.

"We walked out and found the water was almost on to our doorstep," he said.

"The water was going through the driveway and getting into the back into the wine cellar.

"It was so much water I thought it was a burst of a tank somewhere."

Mr Hattotuwa said luckily his home was saved thanks to sandbagging efforts.

SA Water media relations manager Josh Zugajev apologised to customers in the area.

"We are working with a small number of customers in the surrounding streets who have had water enter their properties either the exterior and a small number in the interior as well," he said.

"We would [like to] apologise very sincerely to those customers; we don't want them to be impacted by a water main break and I would reassure them we will be there with them every step of the way helping with the clean-up and making sure we get their properties back to the state they were in before this happened."

He anticipated repairs would take all day, but said crews were still assessing the damage.

Senior Constable Kimberley Broad said people should avoid the area for a couple of days while crews repair the road.

"Patrols at the scene advise it might take a few days to rectify so we'd probably suggest you avoid that area for the next two days at least," she said.


© ABC 2021

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